Fully in-person classes unlikely under mandate

(Posted Dec. 16, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

London school board members discussed plans for the second semester at their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 15.

After the winter break, the district will return to school in a hybrid model. Moving to fully in-person classes is unlikely, said Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent.

A mandate from Madison County Public Health requires six-feet of social distancing between all students and staff. London’s schools have enough space to allow classes to resume in a hybrid model, with larger classes relocated to larger rooms.

The district does not have the building capacity to return to fully in-person classes while the distancing mandate remains in place.

“Provided the rule stays the same… we will have great difficulty moving more children into the schools and trying to move fully in-person until the mandate is relaxed,” Kramer said.

The district saw slight fluctuations in the number of students opting to partake in fully online classes in the second semester. In the first semester, 23 percent of students opted for a fully online option, while in the second semester 21 percent are opting for the fully online option.

The district should not have to reallocate major resources as a result of the change, Kramer said.

Roughly 1 percent to 2 percent of elementary school students have decided to switch from taking online classes to taking hybrid classes in the second semester. Roughly 1 percent to 2 percent of high school students are switching from hybrid classes to online classes. The ratio of middle school students participating in online versus hybrid classes remains the same.

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